The Perovskites in Orbit ReadinessTest (PORT-2) Payload has been delivered to Waratah Seed. This delivery marks an exciting major milestone in the WS-1 mission, set to launch in early 2024.
Designed by EurokaPower, the University of Sydney Space Solar Cell Research Team, and led by Anita Ho-Baillie, Laura Granados, Tiaan Stals, Arafat Mahmud, Shi Tang, David McKenzie, and Iver Cairns, the PORT-2 payload seeks to further demonstrate the capabilities of perovskite new solar cell designs in extra-terrestrial environments. This mission will pave the way for accessible high-performance space-grade solar cells.
The PORT-2 payload is designed to increase the Technical Readiness Level of multi junction solar cell material systems, to evaluate new cell designs, and gain flight heritage.
“Gaining space heritage for our next generation EurokaPower’s solar cells is an exciting aspect of this journey. EurokaPower’s aim is to improve accessibility of high-performance durable space-grade cells, addressing supply chain constraints within the space sector.” - Anita Ho-Baillie (EurokaPower)
The payload consists of two PCB boards. The first (SMU PCB) measures the current-voltage characteristics of the cells and is housed internally. The second board (Solar PCB) features eight perovskite cells, all positioned on an exterior-facing panel. The SMU PCB board incorporates an analogue front end designed to sweep the IV curves of the individual cells, process data, and communicate with the Onboard Computer (OBC) via an onboard MCU.
The PORT payload operates at 5V @ 100mA and the cells will be scanned every 30 seconds, generating approximately 20kb of data for all eight cells during each scan (equivalent to 2.4Mb per hour). By closely monitoring the performance of the solar cells and collecting their data, we can better understand their behaviour and make improvements as necessary.
Congratulations to the EurokaPower and the Space Solar Cell Research Teams!
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